Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy

American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)

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Orthopaedic Section Proposed Name Change


The Orthopaedic Section, APTA, Inc. is seeking a name change to the Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy. In accordance to Article XV. Amendments of the Bylaws of the Orthopaedic Section, APTA, Inc., this request will be brought forth to membership at the Annual Section Membership Meeting. The purpose of this communication is to introduce the proposed amendment and provide rationale for the proposed name change.

Proposed Amendment to Article I. Name and Relationship to American Physical Therapy Association:
This corporation, The Academy of Orthopaedic Section Physical Therapy, APTA, Inc. (the “Academy Section”) shall be a component of the American Physical Therapy Association (the “Association”).

Background: The APTA vision statement adopted in the 2013 APTA House of Delegates, "Transforming society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience", is reflective of a more external view of the healthcare environment and the relationship of the entire human experience. The Section hopes to make a more external statement as well, with our name change to the Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy. The name change aligns with our mission and vision statements:

Mission: The mission of the Orthopaedic Section, APTA, Inc. (Orthopaedic Section) is to promote excellence in orthopaedic physical therapy.

Vision: The Orthopaedic Section will be a world leader in advancing orthopaedic physical therapy to optimize movement and health.

This name change clarifies the Section’s identity, branding and recognition within outside stakeholder interactions and collaborations. APTA Sections are well recognized internally-not externally. The Orthopaedic Section strategic plan is directed at also promoting and expanding the Section’s role as an advocate and resource for Orthopaedic Physical Therapy fostering quality patient/client care outside the physical therapy profession. The title “Academy” in this context is more easily linked with those outside the physical therapy profession and will better explain to external stakeholders what we do and coincide with the practice, education and research goals of the Section.

Description and Purpose of an Academy:
An academy is an APTA membership group focused on the science, advancement and practice of physical therapy in a clearly defined clinical practice arena. Academies support the vision of the profession and the mission of the association.

Primary Functions of an Academy:

  • Serve as content experts for the association and advance clinical practice with a specific patient population
  • Develop the evidence base for the content area
  • Establish best practices in the content area
  • Propose, develop and advance specialization/sub-specialization activities through new proposals and support for ABPTS and residency and fellowship activities

Responsibilities of an Academy:

  • Represent the interests of its members to the APTA Board of Directors, House of Delegates, chapters and other governance entities and in collaboration with APTA to external groups
  • Provide education and develop educational resources for members
  • Develop and propose changes to APTA policies and procedures that enhance the position of the profession

Rationale: The Orthopaedic Section, founded in 1974 has a long and rich history of being visionary when determining how best to meet patient and societal needs related to Orthopaedic physical therapy. The name change represents an evolution of the Orthopaedic Section with a focus on defining best practices through support of translational research, development of Clinical Practice Guidelines, support of residency and fellowship programs along with many other efforts designed keep pace with the ever changing healthcare climate. The term “academy” is also a better descriptor for the organization’s current role as an expert body for healthcare provider issues related to healthcare and payment reform, and as liaisons to various external groups. The time is now to make the name change to better reflect the Section’s role internally and externally and better align with the mission, vision and strategic plan of the Section.

The current bylaws are available here.

Notification to the Members

This proposed name change request will be put forth to the Orthopaedic Section membership for consideration at the upcoming Membership Meeting during the Combined Sections meeting, February 23, 2018, New Orleans Convention Center CC: Room 211 from 4:30 – 6:00 PM. We need members to attend and take part in the discussion regarding the proposed name change. Orthopaedic Section members must adopt a resolution approving the amendments to the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws reflecting this proposed name change.

Current name:  Orthopaedic Section, APTA, Inc.
Proposed name:  The Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy, APTA, Inc.

The proposed Bylaw change can be found here.
Questions should be directed to the Orthopaedic Section at:

Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy
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